Deuteronomy 25:4-6 (JDV)
Deuteronomy 25:4 “Do not muzzle an ox while it treads out grain.
Deuteronomy 25:5 “When brothers live on the same property and one of them dies without a son, the wife of the dead man may not marry illegitimately outside the family. Her brother-in-law is to take her as his wife, have sexual relations with her, and perform the duty of a brother-in-law for her.
Deuteronomy 25:6 The first son she bears will carry on the name of the dead brother, so his name will not be blotted out from Israel.
From laws about redeeming the poor, this instruction proceeds to outline a plan to redeem the name of a brother who dies without producing an heir. One of the joys of life is raising children and being part of a larger family. The Mosaic covenant provided levirate marriage as a means of protecting that joy even in a time of sorrow.
Lord, make us people who find ways of bringing joy to others — especially those who are experiencing loss.